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Dawn Wells, Mary Ann of 'Gilligan's Island,' dead of COVID-19 at 82

Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island, died Wednesday at age 82 from causes related to COVID-19, her publicist said. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI
Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on 1960s sitcom "Gilligan's Island," died Wednesday at age 82 from causes related to COVID-19, her publicist said. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Dawn Wells, an actress best known for her role as Mary Ann in 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island, died Wednesday in Los Angeles of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist announced. She was 82.

Wells, who played Mary Ann in the 1964-67 show and three made-for-TV sequel movies that aired between 1978 and 1982, represented Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant and also had roles in 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Bonanza, The Joey Bishop Show, Hawaiian Eye, The Wild Wild West and ALF.

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The actress created Wishing Wells Collections in the early 2000s to create clothes for elderly people with limited mobility. Wells founded the nonprofit Idaho Film and Television Institute and was an active member of The Denver Foundation, which was founded by Bob Denver, the actor who played the titular Gilligan on the classic sitcom.

Publicist Harlan Boll said donations can be made in Wells' name to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum or The Shambala Preserve outside Los Angeles.

Wells is survived by her stepsister, Weslee Wells. Her death leaves Tina Louise, 86, who played Ginger on Gilligan's Island, as the last surviving member of the original cast.

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Notable deaths of 2020

Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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